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Cheapest Graduate Schools In USA

Last Updated on February 7, 2023 by Fola Shade

The US is undoubtedly one of the most popular countries when it comes to pursuing a master’s degree. The high standard of research and the resulting lucrative opportunities attract students from all over the world to these programs. However, studying in the US can bring about its own set of challenges, primary among which is the high cost. Therefore, this article aims to explore the 10 best cheap universities for masters in USA. The main focus would be on elisting the best universities in USA for MS with low tuition fees!

We all know education in the United States is expensive and not everybody can afford a top-flight US education. And, in many cases, it is even more expensive for international students. this is why international students often want to know which U.S. colleges and universities charge the lowest tuition. Here is the list of 7 cheapest colleges and universities for international students in the USA.

Why Study MS in USA?

USA is a global centre of knowledge that hosts students from every nook and corner of the world. It is the top choice for study abroad aspirants to pursue an MS, let us know why. Top reasons to study MS in USA are:

  • Highly Recognised Universities: 202 universities in the USA are ranked in the QS WUR 2023, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology occupying the first place. The USA indeed is home to many prestigious colleges and universities in the world.
  • Student Friendly Cities: Apart from the best universities, 14 cities in USA are ranked in the list of QS Best Student Cities 2022. Some of them are Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.
  • Academic Flexibility: One of the major perks of studying MS in USA is the luxury of declaring your major in your second year of the course. It gives you one whole year to explore various subjects and understand your area of interest.
  • Part-Time Job Opportunities: Having an F-1 student visa allows you to opt for various part-time jobs in USA. The US government currently follows a 20-hour work per week rule for international students studying MS in USA. The part-time jobs can be both on-campus or off-campus.
  • Training Opportunities: With an F-1 student visa, you may also be eligible to participate in paid training opportunities (Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training) that directly relate to your program of study. However, there are other eligibility criteria too. To learn more, visit the Training Opportunities section on the official United States website.

How to Choose Affordable Universities for Masters in USA?

Students usually apply and prefer going to the cheapest universities in USA for Indian students suggested by their friends or relatives and rarely try to research and figure out things on their own. Success stories of their seniors graduating and securing jobs with renowned companies also make it to the list of criteria a student considered while choosing the cheapest colleges in USA for international students.

  • Everyone has a unique study abroad experience and students need to decide what’s right for them. At times students even fail to understand that a cheapest university in USA that is well known and good for a particular course and field, may not necessarily be good for their own field of interest.
  • While choosing a university, students should carefully consider and question potential affordable universities for Indian students regarding programs and scholarships offered, research and curriculum in their field of interest, availability of funds, faculty members in that field, tuition fees and living expenses, and most importantly the return on investment.
  • Opting for public universities in US for MS which are funded by the state governments to some extent and are much more affordable than private universities where the tuition fee is significantly higher; will also reduce expenses drastically.

Despite higher education becoming more and more expensive, it is possible to get excellent education from a low cost university in USA without spending a fortune.

Cheapest Graduate Schools In USA

1. Lehman College

Lehman College is a senior college of the City University of New York in New York, United States. It was founded in 1931 and is one of the cheapest colleges in the United States. It offers undergraduate degrees in more than 35 different areas.

2. South Texas College

South Texas College is a public community college in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas. This college was established in 1993. It offers associate degrees and more than 40 different fields.

Average annual tuition fee: $4,600

3. Minot State University

Minot State University is a public university in Minot, North Dakota. It was founded in 1913 as a normal school, it is the third-largest university in North Dakota. This university offers an undergraduate degree in more than 50 different areas.

Average annual tuition fee: $6,800

4. Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is a public, historically black, comprehensive, land-grant institution located northwest of Lorman, Mississippi in rural Claiborne County. This was founded in 1871. It offers degrees in more than 40 different areas.

Average annual tuition fee: $7,600

5. California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach is a public university in Long Beach, California. It was established in 1949. This university offers degrees in more and 60 different fields.

Average annual tuition fee: $8,300

6. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a private, non-profit research university in Provo, Utah, United States. It runs under the auspices of its Church Educational System. You can choose from over 100 different majors in various fields at this university.

Average annual cost: $11,356

7. The City University of New York

The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City. It is the largest urban university system in the United States. This university was founded in 1961. Also, it offers degrees in more than 80 different fields.

Average annual tuition fee: $17,800

List of 10 Affordable Universities in USA for MS

Getting admitted to low tuition fee universities in USA for MS is a dream of many. But before we proceed with the list of cheap universities in USA for masters for international students in the US, it is important for you to understand how tuition fees are calculated for affordable masters in USA.

  • In US universities, a Master’s degree program requires a student to take a specified number of credit hours ranging anywhere between 30 and 60. The tuition fee you have to pay is calculated based on the number of credit hours taken in that semester.
  • For example, the tuition fee for MS in Computer Science in a University is calculated at 1000 USD/credit Hour. If you take 6 credit hours in a semester, the total tuition fee would be 6000 USD for that semester.

GRE Accepting Universities for MS in USA

Given below is a list of low tuition fee universities in USA for MS. For your convenience, we have listed the yearly average range of tuition fees you would have to pay at these affordable universities in USA.

UniversityTuition Fees for International Students / year (in USD)Popular Courses Offered
University of Houston18,000-22,000MS in Computer ScienceMS in Civil EngineeringMS in Information System SecurityMS in Finance USA
Purdue University20,000-30,000Master of Science in Computer ScienceMaster of Science in Industrial Engineering
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill13,000-35,000MS in Biomedical EngineeringMS in Computer ScienceMS in Environmental Engineering (MSEE)
Stony Brook University, State University of NY19,000-24,000MS in Computer EngineeringMS in Electrical EngineeringMS in Materials Science and Engineering
University of Tulsa18,000-24,000Master of Science in Chemical EngineeringMaster of Science in Electrical EngineeringMaster of Science in Engineering Physics
Michigan Technological University19,000-23,000Masters of Science in Computer EngineeringMaster of Science in Civil EngineeringMaster of Science in Environmental Engineering
San Diego State University13,000-16,000MS in Business Analytics USAMS in Electrical EngineeringMS in Aerospace  Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas17,000-24,000Master of Science in Cyber Security, Technology and PolicyMaster of Science in Social Data Analytics and ResearchMaster of Science in Software Engineering
California State University- Fullerton13,000-15,000MS in Electrical EngineeringMS in Chemical Engineering
University at  Buffalo17,000-23,000MS in Management Information SystemsMS in Electrical EngineeringMS in Aerospace Engineering

7 of the Most Affordable Universities in the United States for International Students

Let’s get you started on the path to reaching your educational goals!

1. The City University of New York 

The City University of New York – also known as CUNY – is a public university system in New York City that includes 26  individual institutions, where students can learn from award-winning faculty. Among those intuitions are Baruch College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, , City College of New York, and more.

Committed to providing accessible, high-quality education to New Yorkers of all stripes since 1847, CUNY offers affordable tuition rates to all students.

Among its current initiatives are programs for adult students, Latino faculty growth, and innovative workforce training.

Annual tuition for international students: $17,400

Percentage of international students: Unknown
Read moreHere

2. University of the People 

University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university. With a groundbreaking online learning model and instructors from the world’s foremost academic institutions, UoPeople offers the opportunity of a high-quality, accessible, affordable American degree programs.The university offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health scienceas well as master’s degree programsin business administration and education. Classes are taught by globally leading faculty from NYU and UC Berkeley.

Annual tuition for international students: University of the People is tuition-free, which means there is no charge for teaching or instruction. To help support the university’s continued operation, UoPeople Assessment Fee per course completed.
The estimated total fees for the associate degree are as followed: $2,060

The estimated total fees for the bachelor’s degree are as followed: $4,060

Percentage of international students: 54%

3. California State University, Long Beach

Established in 1949, California State University, Long Beach – also known as Long Beach State, or “The Beach” – is the third largest campus of the California State University system, which has 23 branches across the US’ most populous state.

With a campus located only 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean and a 40 minute drive from Hollywood, students enjoy a variety of science-focused programs (chemistry, astronomy and environmental science, among others) and art programs (theater, film, design, dance and music), alongside degree options in liberal arts, education, business administration, health and human services, engineering and mathematics.

Annual tuition for international students: $8,151

Percentage of international students: 7.5%

4. Alcorn State University in Mississippi

Alcorn University was founded in 1871 in Claiborne County, Mississippi, with a goal to provide education to descendants of previously enslaved African Americans. Today, it offers more than 50 degree programs to over 4,000 students with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The university also collaborates with educational institutions from around the globe. Among others, it lets students spend a semester in South America or Africa, participate in videoconferencing sessions with organizations from around the world, and take action to improve the lives of people living in developing countries.

Students and graduates are called Alcornites. According to the university’s website, if you’re an Alcornite, you’re “an individual with both the knowledge and the character to achieve your dreams… for your career, for your family, for your community.”

Annual tuition for international students: $6,888

Percentage of international students: 2.8%

5. Minot State University in North Dakota

Founded in 1913 in Minot, North Dakota, Minot State University ensures a student-teacher ratio of 14:1, making it the place to go if you want to enjoy the small town feeling where everybody, including faculty staff, knows your name – in a big town university campus.

At Minot State University, you can choose from 60 undergraduate programs – as diverse as information systems, science, social work, education, finance and criminal justice.

Annual tuition for international students: $6,809

Percentage of international students: 12%

6. South Texas College

Established in 1993, South Texas College offers both undergraduate degree and certificate programs. It is credited for transforming life paths and communities in the Hidalgo and Starr counties, as 67% of its students are the first in their families to attend a university.

Committed to creating social and economical mobility in these communities, South Texas College maintains a 22:1 student-teacher ratio, creates cross-disciplinary learning experiences and promotes cost efficiency in higher education.

Annual tuition for international students: $4,200

Percentage of international students: Less than 1%

7Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Artin New York

Established in 1859, Cooper Union is known as one of the hardest universities to get into, as its programs in architecture, fine arts, and especially engineering, are highly celebrated.

At the same time, though, Cooper Union is committed to equal opportunities, and practices “need-blind admission”—meaning the team considering an applicant’s merits has no idea of their financial status as they decide whether or not to admit them.

Until the fall of 2014, every student accepted into Cooper Union received a full scholarship covering the annual $43,250 tuition. Though this is no longer the policy, every student still gets a 50% scholarship. International students need to pay an additional $1,005 per semester, but it’s still one more of the more affordable institutes of higher learning in the United States.

Annual tuition for international students: $22,635

Percentage of international students: 17.5%

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